Mitsubishi division has increased the number of popular Colt bakkies in
its range by adding four extended cab variants to the mix, while at the
same time appealing to a wider audience and giving some buyers –
especially farmers - a tax benefit to boot.
the ClubCab configuration is unique to the South African pick-up market,
it is hardly new. In decades past, extended cab models from amongst others
Nissan (remember the King Cab?) were quite popular at their time,
providing additional storage and seating space for midgets behind the two
the ClubCab does not offer additional seating (stick to the double cab) it
does allow the safe and secure storage of goods always left in plain sight
in a standard bakkie cab (single and double). Where to put the groceries,
for instance, or travel junk that constantly builds up in any vehicle,
when you want to leave it unattended even for five minutes while running
into the bank…?
has introduced four ClubCab models - two and four-wheel drives with
Mitsubishi’s 2.4 four cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 petrol fuel injected
petrol engines, as well as a 2.8 TDi diesel with intercooler. In all, this
is allows quite a choice, and to top it all, the South African Revenue
Service allows the ClubCab to be treated as a single cab for tax purposes.
prices varied from R160 000 to R199 000, but expect 2002 model year prices
to be well over the R200 000 mark for the top models
beauty of the ClubCab configuration is that it is so versatile and clever.
While it is currently a unique concept in SA, in especially the US just
about all bakkie type vehicles are available in single, double and
extended cab configurations. So expect more of this in future. Sales
volumes are quite high, and no manufacturer can really afford not to take
a bite from this slice of the cake.
the extended cab configuration eats into the load bed of the standard
bakkie, for most users the loss of cargo space will really be
insignificant as it can still carry a full ton. The added space up front
more than makes up, allowing the seats to be moved back just that little
further, while the lockable load boxes can take quite a bit of stuff too.
To top it all, odds and ends can be stowed on the floor, or on top or next
the two boxes.
extended cab configuration allows for a much more roomy and airy cabin,
certainly feeling less cramped than a standard single cab. In the Colt,
the driving position is pretty average, with all instruments and controls
placed where one would logically expect them to be. Due to the extended
glass areas along the side, visibility is improved upon that of the single
cab, but the relatively thick C-pillar restricts the over-the-shoulder
ClubCabs come with a high level of standard equipment, even the “base”
2.4 model. The mix includes ABS brakes, alloy wheels with 245/75R15 tyres,
sound system (our drive car had the optional front-loading CD), air
conditioning, diff lock, alloy wheels, optional leather trim and - the
whole point of the exercise - security covered space in the cab. This
comprises two durable and lockable polyethylene utility boxes taking up
the space between the back of the front seats and the rear window. They
can be removed (the seats fold forward) and put on the loadbed to create
an even larger, unrestricted storage space in the cab, but then one loses
the security convenience inside the cab.
windows are of the manual variety, while flipping open the rear quarter
windows requires something of a stretch.
ClubCab is essentially is an extended two-door single cab with space
behind the front seats, providing extra security space. Occupants enjoy
stretch out comfort, while the larger cab environment just feels like a
better place to be when compared to a standard single cab.
ClubCab’s 4x4 suspension is made up of double wishbones with a
torsion-bar spring and stabiliser up front, and rigid axle with
semi-elliptical leaf springs at the rear. A feature of the entire
Mitsubisihi Colt 4x4 range is on-the-fly engagement of four-wheel drive
(4H) while the vehicle is moving at speeds of up to 100 km/h. The
free-wheel differential engages automatically when four-wheel drive is
selected. Coupled with the differential-lock facility, this means that the
Mitsubishi Colt 4x4 is extremely versatile in off-road conditions.
surer and safer braking when carrying a heavy load, all models in the
entire Colt range are now fitted with a load-sensing proportional valve (LSVP).
This LSPV operates by monitoring vehicle load and regulating the rear
brake hydraulic pressure accordingly.
are no airbags as offered on some locally produced Toyota Hilux models,
but a standard roll cage does provide an added feeling of safety in the
case of a roll over – not to be discounted in any 4x4 taken off road…
drive car had no rattles or squeaks of note. In fact, build quality was
good, while owners have the recourse of a 2 year, 100 000 km warranty
should they not be satisfied.
drove the 2.8 litre diesel model with 4x4 drive configuration. This diesel
is one of the most highly recommended in its segment for its combination
of power (92 kW at 4 000
r/min and 294 Nm of torque at a mere 2 000 r/min) and performance. While
no official performance figures are available, the engine feels nippy and
sprightly, largely the result of its intercooler technology, especially
low down the rev range, all the while offering consumption figures in the
region of 15 litre/100 km, a near-150 km/h top speed and a 20 s 0 – 100
km/h sprint time. And it offers a good combination of grunt for offroad
work and freeway cruising abilities, comfortably outrunning most cars on
the road once on the move.
ClubCab is a class leader – not because it is the only model in its
class (!), but because of its general allround abilities as a pickup,
offroad vehicle, comfortable cruiser and carry-all. The additional
convenience items are certainly worth the price, not to mention the peace
of mind for that five minutes in the bank…